When a sudden blockage in a lung artery takes place, the condition is referred as pulmonary embolism (PE). This kind of blockage usually occurs due to blood clots that travel to the lung from legs or any other parts of the body. PE is one such condition that occurs in conjunction with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It is regarded as serious condition because less blood flows to your lungs thereby resulting in damaging the lung. It even causes low oxygen levels in the blood thus, damaging other organs in the body as well. Blood clot in the lung is the alternative name of pulmonary embolism.
Pulmonary Embolism occurs when blood clots get wedged into artery in the lungs. Other substances that can result in blockages within the blood vessel inside the lungs are air bubbles, parts of tumor, fat from within marrow of broken long bone, etc. While, deep vein thrombosis can develop in anyone, factors such as surgery, cancer and immobility increase its risk.
The symptoms of the condition vary greatly depending upon the size of clots, how much lung is involved, overall health condition, etc. Many times it happens that many people do not experience any of its symptoms. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Excessive sweating
- Leg pain
It is important to treat PE immediately because delays in treatment may cause serious complications or even death of a person. The treatment of the condition aims at breaking up clots and preventing their further formation.
Doctors recommend anticoagulants like Lovenox, etc., as these drugs prevent formation of new clots. However, it is prudent to take these drugs regularly, as these drugs take few days to show their effectiveness. Thrombolytic are also recommended, as they help in dissolving clots quickly. These clot-busting drugs can lead to severe and sudden bleeding. They are usually given to those patients, who are in life-threatening situation. Surgical procedures are adopted by doctors when large clot is present in the lungs. It is important to consult with the doctor before taking any medication or opting for any surgery.